The cost of producing wind or solar electricity is about seven cent per kilowatt per hour. Most of the costs are spread over multiple periods of the capital investments. That means that the costs of the electricity is spread over the period of the usefulness of life in years, for example 20 years. Seven cent per kilowatt-hour is competitive with coal and nuclear, but more expensive then natural gas (two cents). But there is a serious problem with wind and solar electricity. The problem is that wind and solar is generating erratic electricity, it comes and goes and nobody can control that. And there is another problem and that is the subsidies, which are actually nothing else then additional taxes for the clients, industries and the governments (and coming back to its taxpaying citizens).
With other words, if you rely only on wind and solar electricity, it might be very likely that you have now electricity, but five minutes later nothing at all. It totally depends on the sunshine and the wind.
And that’s bad of course if you have a company producing products, and the production comes to a standstill for a hour … or day or maybe for a week.
To make everything working and keep it working, and you insist on wind and solar electricity, you still need the conventional plants. You can’t remove them at all!
And then there is another thing about the costs for the wind and solar electricity. Its costs is 7 cent per kilowatt-hour, but the costs for natural gas plant is about two cents per kilowatt-hour. And there is a five-cent-per-kilowatt-hour subsidy to the wind and solar electricity! Who pays for that? Explicit government subsidies pays three cent, and the two cents is paid for by the consumers. 70 Percent of the cost is subsidized.
In Texas, there is a huge wind generation system with a capacity of 17,000 megawatts. In August 2016, output from the wind system fell below 1% of capacity. The Texas wind system frequently has swings of thousands of megawatts within a few hours. It often produces at less than 5% of capacity.
In the best estimate, wind and solar electricity is as best an appendage to the electricity grids, but a very costly one. It’s absolutely useless and a big cost for the taxpayers.